After a lengthy stint as a backing vocalist in CRADLE OF FILTH and fronting her own band ANTGORIA, Sarah Jezebel Deva has decided to step into the limelight with her own solo album, deceptively titled “A Sign of Sublime.” What you get here is a frustratingly mediocre, operatically tinged Gothic Metal album, with near desperate attempts at creating a grand and darkly epic collage, and sounding more like the result of a 13-year-old girl having money thrown at her and being told to write ‘some music.’
Now, I’m not admitting to being the biggest fan of Gothic Metal, but I certainly have a good idea of what makes it work. I can appreciate that Deva is the focus here, and that she wants to show off what she has to offer to the musical world. The fact is though; I was far more interested in the washed out backing band than the woman herself. At certain points in the album, I found myself wishing she’d just shut her mouth, so the half decent melodies wouldn’t be obscured by her incessant, often out-of-key warbling.
Oh, and did I mention this album is pretentious, I mean really pretentious. Deva’s ego must be ready to slide out of her ears and die, because her writing style seems to stretch itself so thin it’s hard to tell what the woman is actually trying to achieve. We’ve got an Operatic track in the form of “The Devils Opera” and a soft, piano-accompanied serenade titled “Daddy’s Not Coming Home.” Well, I’m very sorry Daddy didn’t come home, but I don’t see why you had to write some ridiculously trite and unimaginative song about it. Get a grip.
I’ve spent enough time explaining the pitfalls of this album; the bottom line: if you like Gothic Metal, you can do far better than this. Stay clear if you’re one of those people who like good music.
(Online November 24, 2010)